A village shouldn ’ t be the reward for only those who decide to parent ; a village should be for everyone — no matter how they design their life .
use this phrase when describing raising their children .
That word “ village ” is thrown around quite a bit . I must admit , it frustrates me to NO end when people automatically assume that a village is meant for ONLY people with children . That is simply inaccurate and exclusionary ! A village shouldn ’ t be the reward for only those who decide to parent ; a village should be for everyone — no matter how they design their life .
My Nana and my mom were the very first people in my life to show me what it means to love ( as a verb !), to be part of something larger than oneself , and to live a life learning how to truly embody and show empathy .
I was born into this beautiful trifecta , but what about the people that are not ? How do they “ find their people ?” And , to expand on that , why is it so important that human beings — especially women — find and embrace connection ? And , once it ’ s found , how do we function within that village ? How do we become a valued villager ?
In my book Build a Village , there are six villagers that I identify as essential to bringing value to your community . They are :
1 ) Accepting 2 ) Dependable 3 ) Cheerleader 4 ) Communicator 5 ) Organizer 6 ) Healer
Without providing the definitions to these six villagers , I bet you are starting to cast people in your life into those roles automatically ! And , yes , that ’ s whole point — some of these people probably exist in your life already , and where they don ’ t … that is where the fun begins ! It ’ s the search for those villagers and the self-exploration regarding how YOU can best serve the villages to which you belong .
But let ’ s zoom out for a minute and look at what all six of these villagers have in common . When cooking up this recipe for a village , there is one main ingredient : love .
Learning how to love , how to be loved , and how to express love seems like a lifelong journey . And it should be ! Love is as unique as a snowflake — intricate , majestic , customized , and delicate . Love should know no bounds . Love is a style , a lovestyle , in fact .
When the global COVID-19 lockdowns led to isolation from our loved ones , I had a realization : our villages raise us well beyond our childhoods . In fact , they are the critical touchstones of our lives . They ’ re our North Star .